Thursday, August 24, 2023

Ants - Diving Deeper into BODY implications

As I've started to tinker with BODY, I'm seeing the metaphorical spider web (extended pun intended - actually worked hard to shoehorn that in) of how BODY influences other things hardwired into the system. However, I'm seeing that now as a flaw of my original design which requires a more surgical approach to remove.

I had set things up that AOE attacks had a fundamentally different mechanical resolution than direct attacks on an individual. If an ant shoots a bee, he rolls an attack against the bee's REFLEX; if he gets a number of successes equal to or better than the bee's REFLEX score, he hits; any points beyond are added to damage. If you hit by +2, you deal +2 damage. Easy peasy.

Conversely, AOE attacks almost automatically hit (you only need to succeed with against a DT 1), and then all creatures in the area are affected; you aren't trying to hit any one creature, you're just aiming for a generalized location, and then letting things play out. This makes a lot of sense; a grenade deals 4 damage, and I'm just trying to mitigate the damage I suffer from that.

The problem was that AOE attacks almost always hit... whereas other attacks don't. I'm torn. I mean, it makes sense to me that you only need one success to throw a grenade... but I'm not sure if I like it. 

Let's delve a little deeper... if a grenade requires 1 success to hit the 1-centimeter square you are aiming for, you have (If I did this math right):
a 3 in 6 chance with Reflex 1 (50%)
A 30 in 36 chance with Reflex 2 (83%).
A 189 in 216 chance with Reflex 3 (88%)

This... isn't as bad as I thought. Even with Reflex 3, you are missing with your grenade 12% of the time. I don't hate that. The roll still matters. Yes, you can have thrown weapons 3 and reflex 3, but seriously... at that point, you are investing a LOT into being able to hit with grenades, and you get a limited supply of them, so go for it!

I just need to tweak other attacks a little bit... for example, both flame throwers and artillery can be a default DT 2. This means that you line up the artillery or flame thrower to hit where you want them to hit. I think that these are a little clumsy and hard to manage, so you'd be off with them a little bit more. 2 is pretty typical for an enemy's dodge, so we'll just go with that. If I get my 2 successes, I lined this thing up the way I wanted. I could go with one success on these as well, but then it's really easy to be a flame thrower operator (although it has very short range, and only works once per round, so it's not the awesome killer you might think it is). Artillery also is self-limiting; you can only afford so many shells. You aren't walking around firing your bazooka every round; you are preparing it before combat, firing it once or twice, and then doing other stuff.

Okay. Default DT 1 it is. This is simpler to remember, and makes more sense. The only drawback is that you have little incentive to invest in the artillery skill; this is a valuable skill point that, if you have Mind 2 or 3, I cannot see anyone wasting. I suppose I can insert more sophisticated artillery later (rockets and missiles and the like) that require more successes, but for now this works well enough. I can take the artillery skill out entirely for now, since I don't know that anyone needs it much anyway. However, the other attack abilities have a skill, so I guess I'll keep it.

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